Twenty BloNo residents gathered early Thursday evening for the monthly anti-war protest in downtown Bloomington. The protest brought together people fighting for a variety of different causes under the peace banner.
The December protest took place a week after the Congressional ‘Super Committee’ failed to reach a deficit reduction deal, resulting in a 9% cut in military spending over the next ten years and cuts to domestic spending programs.
Participants with the Bloomington-Normal Citizens for Peace and Justice (BNCPJ) want more cuts to the bloated military budget, more taxes on wealthy individuals and the banks, an end to corporate tax loopholes, and the saving of vital social programs for working people and the poor.
One participant of the action, Josh McGowan, held a sign protesting the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The NDAA is a federal law that is enacted each year to specify the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense, but the 2012 version would permit the indefinite detention of American citizens without charge or trial. U.S. Senator Mark Udall attempted to amend the bill to eliminate the provisions allowing indefinite detention, but the Udall Amendment failed in the senate 38-60.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and a broad progressive coalition is opposing the bill.
Anti-war activists are also concerned about the possibility of an attack against Iran. The organization FAIR – Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting – has documented how an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report was used by the corporate press to spread the erroneous idea that Iran was further down the road to building nuclear weapons.